Across college and university campuses, the role of Institutional Researchers is articulated in many ways. Generally, offices of Institutional Research provide services and assistance for their campus faculty, staff, students and external constituencies.
Here at Penn State Lehigh Valley, the Office of Institutional Research is relatively new, making it an exciting endeavor filled with many possibilities. This also means its responsibilities are still being evaluated and defined.
Overall, the Office's current mission is to collect relevant data and to use this information to assist the campus in making strategic decisions, to prepare informed reports based on research and assessment, and to help campus administration and departments plan effectively for the future.
What is Institutional Research?
Strictly defined, institutional research is "a set of activities that support institutional planning, policy formation, and decision making." (Volkweing, J. Fredericks, "The Foundations and Evolution of Institutional Research." Institutional Research: More Than Just Data. Number 141. Spring)
Data Management and Statistics Collection
- Managing and storing data related to enrollment, tuition, faculty, students, demographics, etc.
- Accessing data and statistics for campus departments and administration/faculty/staff
- Assisting with campus strategic planning and assessing progress towards stated goals.
External and Internal Reporting
- Assisting with accountability reports and data that is both qualitative and quantitative in nature
Research and Survey/Assessment
- Collecting information about the campus' internal and external environments
- Assisting departments in surveying students, alumni, the community, and other stakeholders
For additional information regarding Institutional Research and Strategic Planning for Penn State Lehigh Valley, please visit our planning website: